Daily Archives: November 14, 2010

Africa Primates' Meeting – opening remarks by Ian Earnest

As regards the Primates Meeting hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury due to take place early next year, we shall be able to express ourselves but the decision to attend rests solely on the individual Archbishop.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has invited me in my capacity of CAPA Chairman to be part of a preparatory committee. He is also anxious that a small group of primates meet with him. I would like to have your opinion and thoughts about it. I wish here on behalf of all CAPA Primates to thank the Most Rev Emmanuel Kolini for supporting me during these past 3 years as CAPA Vice-Chairman. We should value his great contribution made towards CAPA. Archbishop Kolini, I will certainly miss you wise insights but you will remain for a long time in my heart as a mentor and a committed and loyal servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

May I also thank the CAPA General Secretary and the secretariat for enabling this meeting to happen.

The Bishops have given to us a mandate when we met at AABCII. I hope that as CAPA we can bring this mandate to concrete terms. We need your support as Primates. We need your involvement so that the information can reach the grassroots. Talking about grassroots, it would be unfair for us not to take into consideration the voice of the Laity. We have a women core group but it is time that our young men and women share with us their vision for the future. I therefore ask of your support to my intention in organizing a youth gathering for 2011. I intend to invite 3 young people from each Province. Giving them a voice will strengthen our role and asking them of their vision of the Church in Africa should be part of our responsibility as leaders of this present generation. I hope that we can discuss about it and take a decision.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Primates, Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean, Anglican Provinces

BBC–Suu Kyi 'ready for talks' to resolve Burma's Problems

Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has told the BBC she is ready for talks with all groups to achieve national reconciliation.

A day after her release from house arrest, she said it was time to “sort out our differences across the table”.

Ms Suu Kyi also said she intended to listen to what the Burmese people and her international supporters wanted as she planned her next steps.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention.

World leaders and human rights groups have welcomed her release.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Myanmar/Burma, Politics in General

Samwise Gamgee wrestles with his Perspective in Mordor

As the grey light of morning came again to Mordor, Sam woke and looked about the hollow where he and Gulible had taken refuge the previous night. A foul sump of oily water ringed with lurid algae lay at its bottom, and as he slept Sam had slid down nearly to its edge. Gulible was nowhere to be seen.

Unwilling yet to move, Sam thought through the whirlwind of events that had landed him in this unhappy place. Affection, revenge, and simple inertia had carried him this far, but weariness at last led him to frankly consider the task that lay ahead.

“Was this the job I was hired to do when I started?” Sam asked himself. “To help Mr. Frodo into his inheritance and then die with him? Well, that is my job, but I’m nowt but a ninnyhammer if I go through with it. I would dearly like to see Bywater again, with Rosie leading the Revolution at my side. Much as I’d like to see Mr. Frodo draw his last breath, this quest is useless; it’s high time I cut my losses and head home.

“Still,” he thought, “I can’t think somehow that Gandalf and Elrond would have sent Mr. Frodo on this errand if there hadn’t a’ been any hope of his coming back with more money for them to take. What do I have to show for all the work I’ve done these past months? A deed signed over that nobody will believe, Mr. Frodo gone so I can’t bring him back to the Shire to set off the Revolution, and a lot o’ wasted blackmail that won’t do no good either way. If I’m to get anything out of this at all, the Ring must go into the Fire and Frodo’s got to live through it… for a little while. Why am I left all alone to make up my mind?”

–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Book VI, Chapter 3

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Poetry & Literature

Martin Warner on the Scripture Readings for Remembrance Sunday

From here:

The chill from the language of destruction, evil, and suffering that Jesus uses in…[Luke’s] Gospel will confront us in other vivid ways, as we stop to remember those from our own time, our own land, and perhaps our own family and neighbourhood, who have died in the context of war. We shall gather at war memorials, stand in silence, and confront our own need for the hope and vision of peace.

Remembrance Sunday is not the moment to attempt a prophecy about the future, or apportion blame for the past. Rather, it is the opportunity to be silent and to reflect on the sum of wartime grief and loss, military and civilian, knowing that of ourselves we cannot restore life that has been lost: that belongs to God.

But we can commit ourselves to shaping a world of justice and of peace. And if the words we speak in making that solemn commitment do not have the whole truth within them, may the memorials to our dead sting us into shame and repentance.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Eschatology, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Suggestions for Observing Veterans' Day (November 11) in Worship

Veterans’ Day in 2010 falls on Thursday, November 11. In most years and most times, Veterans’ Day passes in our churches with little or no mention. Historically and traditionally, Veterans’ Day has been more a civic than a sacred observance. As with New Years Day, Mother’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and others, Veterans’ Day is not a part of the liturgical calendar ”” although sometimes local congregations will observe these days in some manner in Sunday congregational worship.

Check it out and note especially the Litany from The Book of Worship for United States Forces (1974) at the bottom.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Military / Armed Forces, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

The oracle of God which Habak’kuk the prophet saw. O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and thou wilt not hear? Or cry to thee “Violence!” and thou wilt not save? Why dost thou make me see wrongs and look upon trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is slacked and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous, so justice goes forth perverted.

–Habakkuk 1:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Telegraph–Roman Catholic Church to welcome 50 Anglican clergy

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, will reveal on Friday the Vatican’s plans to welcome the departing priests – including five bishops – who are expected to be received into the Catholic Church early in the new year.

Hundreds of Anglican churchgoers will join them in the Ordinariate – a structure introduced by Pope Benedict XVI to provide refuge for those diaffected with the Church of England.

The number of worshippers who leave the Church is predicted to double as the new arrangement finally begins to take shape.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Ephraim Radner–Same-sex Blessings, Toronto, and the Anglican Communion

To repeat the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury: “But again ”˜pastoral response’ has been interpreted very differently and there are those [”¦] who would say: ”˜Well, pastoral response means rites of blessing’, and I’m not very happy about that.” The Archbishop is not alone in his feelings. But the bishops of the Diocese of Toronto have decided to pour more fuel upon the smoldering flames of that unhappiness.

Interestingly, the Toronto Guidelines tell us that parishes can go forward with requesting to be designated as places where same-sex blessings can be performed only when some kind of “consensus” within it has been found on the matter. This is further explained as follows: “Consensus is not total agreement; however, every effort should be made to reach a decision where everyone feels heard and is willing to live with the wider body’s decision.” This is explicitly qualified in this manner: “The way forward should not be achieved or prevented by a few taking an opposing view to the vast majority”.

An obvious question arises in the face of this definition of consensus and its requirements: is there in fact a “consensus” of this kind in the Diocese of Toronto around the motives, meaning, and substance of the new Guidelines? The process for putting the Guidelines together precluded such a consensus, and the implementation of the Guidelines moves forward without it. How should those within, but also those outside of the diocese interpret this failure to discern consensus? For we should also ask another and related question: where do the bishops of the Diocese of Toronto stand vis a vis the “consensus” of the Communion’s bishops and her “consultative organs”, a consensus that in fact is equivalent in this case to a unanimity? Do they stand with the “vast majority”? Or do they stand with “a very few taking an opposing view” that is thereby seeking to “prevent” a “way forward” towards the healing of the Communion? Does this matter to them?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Instruments of Unity, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

Ireland Urged to Take Aid by Officials Amid Debt Crisis

“It seems difficult for Ireland to avoid tapping the fund unless they have new rabbits to pull out their hat,” said Julian Callow, chief European economist at Barclays Capital in London.

It is very likely Ireland will seek support from the 750- billion-euro ($1 trillion) fund, Reuters reported, citing euro- zone sources it didn’t name. The Finance Ministry in Dublin denied talks were under way. Amelia Torres, a spokeswoman for the EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, called the report “pure speculation.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Economy, England / UK, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Ireland

Children who Have lost a Parent or Parents Come Together at a Camp Just for Them

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

For Roman Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived

Exorcism is as old as Christianity itself. The New Testament has accounts of Jesus casting out demons, and it is cited in the Catholic Church’s catechism. But it is now far more popular in Europe, Africa and Latin America than in the United States.

Most exorcisms are not as dramatic as the bloody scenes in films. The ritual is based on a prayer in which the priest invokes the name of Jesus. The priest also uses holy water and a cross, and can alter the prayer depending on the reaction he gets from the possessed person, said Matt Baglio, a journalist in Rome who wrote the book “The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist” (Doubleday, 2009).

“The prayer comes from the power of Jesus’ name and the church. It doesn’t come from the power of the exorcist. The priest doesn’t have the magic power,” said Mr. Baglio, whose book has been made into a movie to be released in January, starring Anthony Hopkins.

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Update: PZ Meyers is upset that the NY Times is taking such “madness” seriously:

Now if only we had media that dared to point out that angels and demons don’t exist.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theodicy, Theology

RNS/ENI–U.K. Churches Warn Government on Forced Employment

British churches have criticized a government plan to remove unemployment benefits from people who refuse to accept jobs offered by labor officers.

“There is a serious danger that people living in poverty will be stigmatized by government announcements that they are lazy or work shy,” said the Rev. Alison Tomlin, president of the Methodist church in Scotland.

Iain Duncan Smith, the government minister for work and pensions, on Thursday (Nov. 11) laid out a new “contract” with unemployed people that would include removing benefits for up to three years from people who refuse to take work opportunities.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Economy, England / UK, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Religion & Culture